18H Amendment Essay, Research Paper
Reasons the 18th Amendment was created The Prohibition era usually refers to the period from January 1920 until April 1933 when the National Prohibition Enforcement Act forbade the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of greater than 0.5 percent. Supporters of this law believed that it would quickly bring an end to the fear of most Americans for more than a century about the social problems with alcoholic intoxication. Progressive reformers wanted to ban alcohol to fight city problems as family violence, crime, and poverty. Baptists, Methodists, and other Protestants also opposed drinking. Furthermore, during World War I, many reformers had approved prohibition as a war measure. Acting on a popular anti-German opinion, they had found out that German Americans owned many of the large breweries. They had also pointed out that drinking reduced the ability of soldiers and workers. The prohibition movement s strength grew, especially after the formation of the Anti-Saloon League in 1893. The League, and other organizations that supported prohibition such as the Woman s Christian Temperance Union, soon began to succeed in establishing local prohibition laws. Eventually the prohibition campaign was a national effort. The prohibition leaders believed that once license to do business was removed from the liquor traffic, the churches and reform organizations would enjoy an opportunity to persuade Americans to stop drinking. This opportunity would occur unchallenged by the drinking businesses in whose interests it was to urge more Americans to drink, and to drink more alcoholic beverages. The blight of saloons would disappear from the landscape, and saloonkeepers no longer allowed encouraging people, including children, to drink alcohol.Summary and Analysis The Eighteenth Amendment, which Congress passed in 1917, barred the manufacture, sale, or importation of alcoholic beverages. The congress and several States also have the right to enforce the Eighteenth Amendment when they feel it is necessary. So there is no actual law that says what is legal and illegal. It s on Congresses and the States opinion of what is right and what is wrong. The Amendment also banned saloons from running. In the saloons organized crimes, prostitution and gambling, which were all illegal.
In reaction to this, the exceptional Women s War broke out across the nation in 1873. Thousands of women marched from church meetings to saloons, where with prayer and song they demanded with temporary results those saloonkeepers give up their businesses. By 1900, millions of men and women were beginning to share this hostility toward the saloon and to regard it as the most dangerous social institution then threatening the family. The Anti-Saloon League of America, organized in Ohio, effectively marshaled such public office and demanded of their state governments that the people be allowed to vote yes or no on the question of continuing to license the saloons. Effects on the people Prohibition inspired many works of literature. Most of the work made the prohibition sound bad and caused social disorder precisely because of Volsteadism, which came to mean the unbearable searches, seizures, and shooting by police who, with their token enforcement, seemed to threaten invasion into the private lives of law-respecting persons. The prohibition law caused more people to drink rather than to drink less. It promoted disrespect of the law; inspired organized crime, bootleggers, gangsters and the speakeasy or illegal saloons. Most people probably wanted to obey the law and were curious about the emerging character of the dry rather than the alcoholic republic. Statistics show that Prohibition reduced the annual per capita consumption from 9.8 liters of absolute alcohol to 3.7 liters after prohibition. Moreover, no striking evidence of a crime wave during the 1920s exists, although the crime rate did rise. Arrests for drunkenness declined sharply, along with the cost of maintaining prisons, and that medical statistics recorded a drop in the number of treatments for diseases associated with alcoholic psychoses.